Life History of Julia Constance Allen Matkin
(By George O. Matkin)
Born in Afton, Wyoming on August 30, 1890. Baptized 28 August 1898 by Aaron Jackson, confirmed 29 August 1898 by W. G. Willeman
Her father was a polygamist living in Cove, Utah and with the abolishment of polygamy he had placed the family in Afton, Wyoming. She never had much and when she was 10 years old her mother died in 1900. At that time her and her two older sisters went to live with the first family in Cove. There were several boys and they were very mean to the girls, and the girls had to be servants to them. Mother spoke of having to milk cows, clean the barns, ect. and never was allowed to work in the home with her step mother. Mother had her fingers frozen during this time while milking cows, and they were left as short stubs. Mother had no use for any of her half brothers until later in life when Uncle Saul had repented and started showing love for her and her family. At age 21 she married George Q. Matkin in the Logan Temple 20 December, 1911.
After the marriage they built a log home on the ranch north of Swan Lake and started raising the family. It was a two room cabin and there was a water spring about a quarter of a mile away down in the draw. They carried the water and also had a wood sled that on wash days a horse would be hitched to it to bring up the water. The spring was noted for the watercress it produced. The ranch was noted for the rattlesnakes and Mother told of the time Andrew and Hilda was playing with one in a gallon bucket to hear it rattle. On one trip around the 55 acres of wheat stringing poison oats for the squirrels and rabbits I killed 12 rattlers.
When I was only a few months old the family moved from the ranch to Swan Lake in 1920. The home was a two room set on logs for a foundation, and an old shanty way pulled up next to it where mother done all her cooking and washing. Flash floods in the summer would wash under and all around the home.
My mother Julia was the greatest little woman that has ever lived. She was not quite 5 ft tall but she made up for it in work and dedication to her family. She took nothing for herself and she never had anything, all she had she gave to her children. In addition to baking 8 loaves of bread 6 times a week, washing and patching clothes, cleaning the house and cooking, she kept care of the yard and a bunch of chickens. Up until I left home in 1938 I never remember her going any place except to funerals and to church with us kids. She never had any formal education and being left handed she had a hard time writing. She was always after us kids to attend to out church work and to get and education. Sunday was the big day at home, getting all the kids dressed up for church. We always knew when Saturday came as it was wash and bean day. For supper it was always bread and milk and onions, of which I still like and have occasionally. When I was 5 years old I had pneumonia and she cared for me like a baby and I almost wore out the tube record of Casey Jones.
9 September 1981
George & Julia Matkin Wedding Photograph